FW: Pool report 1 — Oval Meeting with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari

From: Meredith Shiner [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Monday, July 20, 2015 11:40 AM
To: Barnes, Desiree N. EOP; Velz, Peter T. EOP
Subject: Pool report 1 — Oval Meeting with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari

Pool was ushered into Oval Office at 11:13 for spray with POTUS and Nigerian President Mahammadu Buhari, his first visit since winning election in April, an election Obama called "historic."

Also spotted were: Vice President Joe Biden, National security advisor Susan Rice and Secretary of State John Kerry (standing in the back by POTUS's desk, holding his two crutches in hand, for those keeping score of Kerry convalescence at home).

Here is a rough transcript of some of Obama's remarks, please check against transcript later:

"Nigeria is obviously one of the most important countries in the world and one of the most important countries in the African continent. Recently we saw an election in which a peaceful transition to a new government took place and it was an affirmation of Nigeria's commitment to democracy, a recognition that although Nigeria is a big country and a diverse country with many different parts, nevertheless the people of Nigeria understand that only through a peaceful political process can change take place.

"President Buhari comes into office with a reputation of integrity and a very clear agenda and that is to make sure that he is bringing safety and security and peace to this country. He is very concerned about the spread of Boko Haram and the violence that has taken place there and the atrocities that have taken place there and he has a very clear agenda of defeating Boko Haram and extremists of all sorts inside his country. And he has a very clear agenda with respect to rooting out the corruption that has too often held back the economic growth and prosperity of his country. On both these issues, we're looking forward to hearing more about his plans and how the United States can partner with Nigeria so that Nigeria ends up being an anchor not only of prosperity and stability in the eastern core part of the continent but can also be an outstanding role model for developing countries around the world."

For his part, Buhari noted the "positive trends" of elections in Nigeria and credited the "pressure from the United States and Europe to make sure elections were free and credible led us to where we are now." He said he was "extremely happy" about the progress and "very grateful" for the invitation from Obama to the White House.

There is more background on the bilat from the White House in a transcript of a Friday call between Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Africa for the National Security Council, Grant Harris, and reporters that the White House sent out around 10 am today.

Obama took one question from reporters, on the UN Security Council's unanimous vote today to endorse the Iran nuclear deal.

"This is by far our strongest approach to ensuring Iran doesn't get a nuclear weapon. There is broad international consensus around this issue. Not just among the international community but also among experts in the nuclear proliferation and my... assumption is that Congress will pay attention to that broad-based consensus."

Meredith Shiner
Political correspondent, Yahoo News
xxx-xxx-xxxx (c)

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